Will The Filner Scandal Cause An Economic Fallout In San Diego?
Monday, August 12, 2013
Aired 8/12/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Gary London, real estate economist with London Group Realty Advisors.
Erik Bruvold, president National University System Institute for Policy Research
Some of San Diego's most influential business leaders are calling on Mayor Bob Filner to resign. Today, the life science association Biocom called on Filner to resign immediately.
Last week, former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders uninvited Mayor Bob Filner to the Chamber of Commerce's trip to Washington, D.C. at the end of August. Sanders and 30 other members of the San Diego Business Leadership Alliance called on the mayor to resign.
But will a "no-confidence" vote by some leaders in San Diego's business community translate to a negative impact on San Diego's economy?
There are conflicting opinions among local economists as to how the mayor's problems will affect San Diego.
Erik Bruvold, president of National University System Institute for Policy Research said the scandal introduces uncertainty into the local economy.
"We passed a charter reform that gave the mayor fairly broad and extraordinary powers over policy directions and economic strategies for the city," he said. "This uncertainty about whether he stays, whether he goes, the timeline for that, really creates the kind of risk that would lead a number of businesses and a number of kinds of industries to put investments on hold."
Gary London, real estate economist with London Group Realty Advisors disagreed. He said, "The circumference of the mayor's office only goes so far."
He said with a few exceptions, "The business of the city and the region will run mostly as usual regardless of what's going on in the mayor's office."
Bruvold said there's symbolism in the move by the Chamber of Commerce to uninvite the mayor to Washington DC.
"It sends a signal that the mayor lacks power and lacks authority and credibility," he said.
London agreed, he said, "The city without a strong mayor operating in a strong fashion is in rigor mortis right now."